On Oct 06 2022 / by Kezia Lynch

A guide to moving from free to paid parking in the workplace

16% of Parkable workplace clients charge their staff to use the parking at work.

Some clients charge staff to offset the cost of parking leases, other clients introduced charges to encourage employees to consider the sustainability of their commute method.

At Parkable, we know that workplace change is usually met with resistance, and parking can be a particularly sore point. We know that a well planned and executed change management programme can make the transition stress-free for everyone involved.

If your organisation is looking to introduce payment for parking when you implement Parkable or while you are a client of ours, please let your dedicated Customer Success Manager know. They will work with our team of Communications Specialists as well as your project team to create communications which are tailored to your organisation’s unique situation and tone of voice.

1. Make direct contact

It’s important to communicate the change directly to employees via email, rather than posting on internal social media which relies on your audience checking in and could easily be missed. Sending the communications from a relevant senior leader will add credibility and relatability to the message.

Parkable’s comprehensive reporting suite makes it easy for facilities managers to export a list of recent car park users which can be used as your main mailing list for car park updates.

2. Give notice

Notify your community of the change well in advance to allow them time to see the communications, consider alternatives, and make any preparations. It’s also worth reminding your audience about the change just before it comes into effect so there are no surprises when they get to the car park on launch day.

At Parkable, we recommend clients share the initial announcement of change a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. A number of our clients have used supporting materials to keep the upcoming change on their employee’s radar i.e. posters on notice boards, displays on digital screens, or included mentions in internal newsletters.

3. Justify the change

Be transparent about the reason for introducing parking charges and why the change is happening now. Some clients have brought in charges to offset the cost of car park leases and have told staff exactly how much they spend on parking leases per year. This helps them explain that by charging for parking they can continue to offer the amenity rather than relinquishing the lease, forcing staff to park in public parking facilities. Other clients introduced charges to support their sustainability initiatives and donated the profits to a charity their organisation was aligned with.

It’s also important to explain how you determined the rates. At Parkable, we recommend referencing the price of public parking options in the area. You can bolster the value of your price by highlighting that Parkable pricing is flat rate hourly that caps out at a daily maximum (for 24 hours) - there are no sneaky terms and conditions i.e. tiers or early bird hours.

4. Set expectations

The necessity for introducing parking fees can be confusing for your workforce, especially if they've been parking at work for free for months or years! In addition to sharing the reason for the change, reassure parkers that the change will mean the same level of service will be maintained ongoing i.e. that there will continue to be the same number of car parks available daily.

Also use this opportunity to inform drivers about the value-add features enabled by charging through Parkable, like being able to come and go from an assigned space throughout the day without having to stop a session!

4. Detail how the charging process works in the Parkable app

When introducing charging through Parkable, there are some differences to the way the app looks and works. Users will need to load their payment method details into the app in advance to be able to continue making future bookings and starting sessions instantly.

Parkable calculates the applicable fee based on the session start and end times and automatically charges this amount to the default payment method loaded onto the user's account. A receipt will be delivered to their inbox.

Your dedicated Customer Success Manager and our team of Communications Specialists will work out the impact of introducing charging on your driver experience and include custom instructions in your tailored communications template.

5. Close the loop

Your audience might have questions about, or feedback on, the change. Direct your audience to a specific place to share and ask. Assign a project team member to actively monitor this place and answer questions or acknowledge feedback promptly.

Know that no matter how well you communicate this change, you should expect at least a few negative reactions.

At Parkable, we recommend clients have feedback and questions shared in an open forum as it helps contributors feel seen, reduces duplicates, and allows peers to respond.

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